Even with just one or two children, navigating a family’s busy schedule can be a chore in and of itself. Differing work schedules, varying interests, and doctor’s and school appointments seem to pile up without you even trying. Adding the responsibilities of a foster family on top of that can seem overwhelming, especially so if you have foster children unrelated to each other, each with different case-workers and court dates. Foster children are often in therapy, as well, and sometimes even doing different types of therapy. It’s not unusual for one child to have a handful of standing appointments every week. Add school, doctor’s visits, case-worker visits, and even the obligations to friends and family, and it seems like you may never have enough time. It will work, though, if you don’t let it overwhelm you.
It seems obvious, but it is something that is easy to let slide. Your organization often becomes the first victim of feeling overwhelmed. Stay the course. Gather all your outstanding appointments and put them on the calendars. It helps to add work schedules and any school events that your children want to attend. Put sibling visits and court dates on the calendar, too. Don’t miss anything! Once you have it on paper, you might be surprised to find that you have a little more free time than you believed.
Sometimes, things will fall through. Someone will get sick or someone will have to work late. This is your time to roll with the punches. Many appointments can be rescheduled with a simple phone call. If you’re finding it difficult to make your scheduled visits because of unforeseen circumstances, let the people involved know and plan to reschedule. The unexpected will happen; you need to bend a little when it does.
Ask For Help
Do Wednesday nights have you wondering how you’re going to make two six o’clock appointments with one vehicle available? Ask friends and family if they can help with a daycare pick-up or a ride to a doctor’s appointment. You don’t have to go it all alone; your caseworkers are there to help and can often provide transportation when you find yourself stretched thin. Friends, family, and caseworkers are your best resource. Remember to use that resource.
While you’re organizing your schedule, be sure to include a little downtime. That’s just as important as all your other obligations. Contact us if you have any questions about your foster care journey.